Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Vermont: Single payer health insurance coming to a snowbank near you

I must admit that two of the big reasons I moved to Tucson in 1981 were the blizzards of 1978 and 1979– that and the fact that my significant other said, “I can’t stand this. Let’s move!”

Since I heard that the Vermont Legislature has passed single payer health insurance, I find myself pondering snow again.

Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin has scheduled a bill-signing ceremony for later this week. From the Daily Kos…

While the silence from most of US mainstream media remains deafening, the print and online news publication for physicians published by the American Medical Association – American Medical News – reported yesterday May 16 that Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has scheduled a bill-signing ceremony for May 26 during which he will sign a bill approved by the Vermont Democratic-controlled legislature, with the state Senate voting 21-9 to pass it on May 3, and the House adopting it on May 5 with a 94-49 vote “that paves the way for the state to launch a health system approaching a single-payer model later in the decade and to create a state health insurance exchange”…

All Vermonters would be eligible for the plan, which would cover hospital services and prescription drugs.

Shumlin had pledged to enact a single-payer health system during his January 6 inaugural address, saying “Let Vermont be the first state in the nation to treat health care as a right and not a privilege.”

Check out the whole story here. It gives many details.

Republican presidential hopefuls like Mitt Romney are pushing the state-by-state patchwork “solution” to rising healthcare costs, as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). I think that’s a really dumb idea that is obviously driven by ideology and not common sense or fiscal responsibility. If you live in the United States, you live in the United States. Vermonters shouldn’t have universal healthcare while Arizonans have death panels.

12 comments on “Vermont: Single payer health insurance coming to a snowbank near you

  1. realamerican025
    May 24, 2011

    Aww whats the matter? Afraid you’ll need a job to pay for your own healthcare instead of leeching off the tax payer? The Vermont plan sounds fantastic,  and why shouldn’t Vermont have Universal healthcare? If they are smart enough to pass laws to benefit them, well great for them? Why cant we do the same? Oh ya, too many people want a free hand out. Obamacare would wreck this economy. Single Payer Healthcare system would save it, its basic logic.

  2. medicareblogger
    May 24, 2011

    Plenty of people currently get free health care through Medicaid. And Arizona rewards working people who don’t buy health insurance by giving them AHCCCS if they end up in the hospital – so the hospitals aren’t stuck with the bill.  With Obamacare everyone will buy health insurance and will get help from the government based on their income.  Today’s freeloaders, who can afford to buy health insurance but don’t, are going to be required to buy health insurance – so they don’t end up sticking the state or the hospital with a big bill when/if they get sick. You should like that since your are so concerned with people leeching off the tax payer.
    Obamacare is going to change the economy – and in a good way. People who have enough resources will be able to retire early because they will be able to buy health insurance – something many can’t do under our current system.  This will open up jobs for younger workers. And younger workers who want to be entrepreneurs won’t have to worry about whether or not they can get health insurance.  Lots of people who would like to start a company will find it easier to do so- because they won’t have to worry about getting health insurance.
    I see Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) giving a big boost to our economy.  Republicans know this and are trying to stop Obamacare because they know that once it kicks in it will be as popular as Medicare – and Obama and Democrats will get all the credit. This is why Republicans aren’t willing to revise the Affordable Care Act – they need to kill it – even though mandates and giving insurance companies 40 million new customers was always the Republican position. So why are they now against something they were for?

    • realamerican025
      May 24, 2011

      This is wrong on about 9 different levels. Firstly everyone “wont get to buy” Obamacare. The rich will get the best healthcare, the poor will continue to get free healthcare, and the working middle class will be taxed more to make up for it, because our government cannot afford this plan since we are in so much debt. Secondly, jobs for younger workers? Where? Not in Arizona for sure. The United States is not investing in any kind of industry, and since we do not invest ourselves we cannot create jobs. All of the decent jobs will go to China or India, as we continue to fight in the Middle East over nothing. Lastly how would a Healthcare plan boost an economy? You do understand the middle class will be paying for this correct? Maybe you should get a better understanding of what will happen to our economy by watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77Lf7k-Q-jo

      • medicareblogger
        May 24, 2011

        The doctor in the video needs to read up on the Affordable Care Act.  The new law raises medicare reimbursement for primary care physicians by 10%, so she will be getting paid more money for her Medicare patients.  And her story of Medicare not paying on time is wrong.  It is private insurance companies that delay payment through read tape and more and more paperwork.  Medicare payments are managed by computer and paid quickly. I have talked to doctors who have told me this.
        The doctor employs two full-time people to handle the paperwork for private insurance companies since each doctor probably takes 20, 30 or more insurance plans, each one with different requirements for prior authorizations, referrals,  and reimbusement rates. The good doctor’s overhead would be reduced substantially if we had a single-payer system, which is what Medicare is.
        Nice video, but the doctor is not telling the whole story.

      • realamerican025
        May 24, 2011

        So your saying you know more then the doctor who takes Medicare payments. Have you taken medicare payments? No? Then you do not have the right to say anything. All this plan will do is put our country more in debt, and give the middle class working tax payer a higher tax to pay for the same service he is already getting. The single payer system in Vermont is much smarter, because at least you KNOW you will be covered, unlike Obamacare, which will wreck privatized insurance, lose more jobs, and cause longer lines in understaffed hospitals. The money has to come from somewhere, this isn’t  pretend anymore. People need to be accountable.

      • medicareblogger
        May 24, 2011

        I have talked to doctors who take medicare payments and the bill does raise reimbursement for primary care docs. Obamacare is projected to save the government money and reduce the deficit.
        And as concerns students and student loans, please point out to me  exactly where it says people will pay 10% of their salary to repay their loans.  Loan repayments might amount to 10% of a person’s salary – or it might represent 5% or perhaps more.  And while recent graduates are having a tough time finding a job, it depends on their degree.  Kids I know who majored in business or engineering are doing just fine. Kids who majored in English should have expected to have a tough time – just like when I graduated from college way back when. Many women who were college graduates took jobs as secretaries, and many eventually moved on to better jobs.
        But at least those recent grads can get health insurance by staying on their parents’ plan until they are 26 – something that is part of Obamacare.  As a result of these new, young, healthy clients, insurance companies are reporting record profits. So how is Obamacare destroying privatized insurance??

  3. realamerican025
    May 24, 2011

    Now to all the college students, listen up good. In this Obamacare bill, there is a piece of legislature in the bill that states that ALL college loans, will be controlled by the government, instead of the banks. That means that the government will OWN your debt. Which in the end means this, if you owe money to the government, you do not qualify for government services, such as health care (since it will be provided by the government) medicare and medicaid, and social security. You can Educate yourself here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE

  4. medicareblogger
    May 24, 2011

    Another lie.  Banks in the past would give out loans that were guaranteed by the government – so they had no risk and yet made a profit  as a middleman.  More student loan money will be available by cutting out the middleman – the banks.  I don’t know that there is any law that says a person who defaults on their college loan will be denied health care – but do you think it is okay for people to walk away from their loans?
    Furthermore, healthcare is not going to be provided by the government under Obamacare.  Insurance companies will be running health care, and doctors, hospitals, and expensive imaging labs will still be run for-profit. There is no government takeover, which is why the insurance companies, the American Medical Association, and the Pharmaceutical industry all supported (or at least did not fight) Obamacare.

    • realamerican025
      May 24, 2011

      Nope not a lie 100% fact. Also in the bill, it states that when these students get a job, they will pay 10% of their salary back to the government to pay off their loan. Now here is what is going to happen. #1 there are no new jobs, these kids take our $20,000 loans, cant get a job, and cant pay it back. This will create another recession, because millions of people will not be able to find a job, and there will be 5 people with degrees for every one job. Also, it is a known fact if you are in debt to the government, you will not receive any government benefits. Try owing the government $10,000 and asking for free health care.

      • medicareblogger
        May 24, 2011

        You seem to be confused about the student loan changes.  Here is what the NT Times says about 10%: The changes include cutting the percentage of discretionary income on which repayments will be based from 15 percent to 10 percent, and accelerating the forgiveness from 25 years to 20 years.
        So the repayment calculation means borrowers will be paying less of their income in monthly payments!
        The Washington Post says: By ending the subsidies and effectively eliminating the middleman, the student loan bill would generate $61 billion in savings over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
        You seem to dislike government waste, so you should like this change to the student loan program and the $61 billion in savings to the government. And you should be happy to learn that graduates will repay loans based on only 10% of their discretionary income rather than 15%. This is a good thing!

  5. medicareblogger
    May 26, 2011

    Definition of “discretionary income”: The amount of an individual’s income available for spending after the essentials (such as food, clothing, and shelter) have been taken care of.

    Read more: http://www.investorwords.com/1483/discretionary_income.html#ixzz1NTIE3Rh4

  6. Awesome,,!!!! whats the matter, Afraid you’ll need a job to pay for your own healthcare instead of leeching off the tax payer. That is right ,that the Vermont Legislature has passed single payer health insurance.
    Thank to u…
    <a href=”http://www.ejpconsulting.ca/”>health and safety manuals toront</a>

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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